Aja Wants Rogen for Jesus

There’s been some grumbling in the past few months by people suffering from Seth Rogen overkill, and while I don’t fully agree with them I do see their point. The past two years have seen him starring in four movies and providing a voice in three animated blockbusters… and he has at least three movies set for release in 2009. So yeah, the rotund and gravelly-voiced funny man may be at risk of over-exposure. But hopefully he keeps it going at least long enough to take on one more role…

Director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) is making the rounds trying to build positive buzz for the DVD release of Mirrors, and since nobody gives a shit about the movie (aside from Amy Smart’s jaw ripping scene of course) he’s fielding questions about his future projects. His upcoming film is a remake of the classic fish food film, Pirahna, which he’ll be filming in 3D, but it’s what comes next that has the Catholic boy inside me all giddy…

The Gospel According To Jimmy is based on a French novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert that posits a clone of Jesus Christ living in modern times. Aja is obviously known exclusively for brutal horror films, but he tells SciFi Wire that the book is very important to him.

I’m developing it on the side and taking my time, trying to find the best writer, because I don’t have the time to write it myself. So, yeah, it’s really an important project for me, but I don’t know how and when I’m going to do it. You have to imagine, a few years from now, the Republicans want to get back in the White House, and the only thing that they find is like an old cloning project … to clone Jesus from a blood cell on the Shroud of Turin. And one subject had survived, and he’s fixing pools in L.A., named Jimmy. And they’re going to find him and ask him to come back and help them to get back to power.”

Asked who his dream Jesus would be, Aja responded that “the obvious choice as a dream cast would be someone like Seth Rogen to play Jimmy.” I’m sold on anyone turning this book into a movie, and I’m extremely curious as to what Aja could bring to the table in a film without murder, rape, mutants, or skull-fucking. And Rogen as Jesus? That makes me curious as well. He’s a funny guy most of the time, but he has yet to do anything convincingly dramatic or heartfelt. But I’ll take what I can get when it comes to darkly comic, modern-day Jeebus movies. At least until someone with balls steps up and turns Christopher Moore’s brilliant “Lamb” into the amazing movie I know it could be…

Anyone out there read the book? Can someone shed some more light on the character of Jimmy and the tone of the novel?

Did your mind go someplace dirty when I mentioned “the Catholic boy inside me?” Shameful. And who would you cast as a pool-cleaning Jesus?


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